Test footage for Duke Nukem Begins, an game showing the origins of Duke, has resurfaced thanks to an animator who worked on the trailer.

As pointed out by Redditor MangledDurian on the GamingLeaksAndRumours subreddit, ex-Janimation employee Gregor Punchatz posted the video on YouTube to show what he and his team had been working on back in 2008. The footage is of Duke Nukem Begins, a cancelled title that was in the works at Gearbox Studios as a collaboration between it and 3D Realms.

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The footage is an animated proof of concept for the project, and shows a younger Duke Nukem engaging in third-person firefights with Pig Cops and Octabrains. The footage shows the player dual-wielding weapons, ripping off arms to use as melee weapons, and summoning other players for cooperative shooting.

Duke is also seen using series staples like the Shrink Gun and Freeze Ray, as well as using his kick. The footage ends with Duke seeing a sand-covered Statue of Liberty alongside a huge alien, which he then takes on with a jetpack.

Duke Nukem Begins was never officially announced, but its existence has been proven through court documents and leaks over the years, including this vertical slice. Interestingly, this isn't the first time that footage of the game has been released, as videos of the same trailer exist on YouTube from around a year ago.

The game's troubled development has been a known quantity for some time as well, as it has been believed to be cancelled and rebooted at least once, before being cancelled once again following some legal issues with another Duke Nukem project, Duke Nukem Mass Destruction. Duke Nukem Begins was supposedly cancelled in 2014 because of the issues with Mass Destruction, and Gearbox has since said that it isn't working on anything to do with Duke.


Although Gregor Punchatz actually released this footage last year in a larger demo reel, he's re-released it on his YouTube as a separate video now. In the description, he says, "Because it is still a piece I am damn proud of, I am releasing it 13 years after its creation. The whole team that worked with me deserves to see this released into the wild".

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